It’s only a matter of time before this dusty corner becomes The Next Big Place
What’s going for it? The common in question is more steel than oak, a curling mass of sidings and railway sheds which, one day, will metamorphose into the centre of the blooming universe to become the main London interchange between High Speed Two from The North and Crossrail. Harlesden has been quietly preparing for its moment in the sun. It has aspirations for the first time since it was built in the 19th century, when the future was steam-powered. Brent Council appears to have invested in bollards and the odd patch of paving. Stonebridge estate, which once had a “reputation”, has gone, replaced by terraces and front gardens. People call Harlesden “the new Acton”, as it rubs shoulders with loftier suburbs, such as Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise. It is only a matter of time, they say, before this dusty corner becomes The Next Big Place. For now, Harlesden is neatened up, but still a riotous mash-up of Portuguese caffs beside proper Irish pubs. When The North does arrive en masse, I can think of no finer welcome to The Smoke.
The case against Public transport is great, but the place itself is on a weird urban peninsula, cut off by those sidings, Park Royal factories, and the North Circular.
Well connected? Willesden Junction and Harlesden on the lovely Bakerloo Line, nipping you to central London in 20 minutes. Plus the overground to Euston and Watford and the weirdly wonderful North London Line from Richmond to the East End.
Schools Primaries: Brentfield, Mitchell Brook, Leopold and Newfield are all “good”, notes Ofsted. Secondaries: Convent of Jesus and Mary, Newman Catholic College and Capital City Academy are all “good”, too.
Hang out at… Jamaican Jerk Chicken Caribbean Take-Away. Rice and peas for me.
Where to buy Beware places passing off as posher Willesden or Kensal Rise, especially leafier spots like the avenues of large, 1920s semis near Roundwood Park. I hereby declare Harlesden to begin south of the cemetery and Roundwood Park, and west of the sports centre.
Market values Semis, £450,000-£850,000. Terraces, £325,000-£450,000, up to £600,000 in posher areas. Flats: three-bed period conversions, £260,000-£360,000; two beds, £205,000-£315,000; one bed, £180,000-£235,000.
Bargain of the week Three-bed terrace, close to the North Circular, but close to Ikea, too, £299,950, with Haart.
From the streets
Michael Goss “Harlesden has London’s best Galician tapas bar, Centro Galego de Londres, situated between Harlesden and Old Oak Common. Plus Gostosa Pizzeria, theand Portuguese restaurants A Pousada, Minhoto and O bBombeiro.”
Sophie Rena “Up and coming, but not come yet. The high street is being pedestrianised, though, so maybe next year.”
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